Implementing a good identity and access management (IAM) system is important in any environment, but it is especially critical in operational technology (OT) environments, where security breaches can have serious physical consequences. Successful IAM implementation in OT requires deep understanding of OT processes, architecture, the Purdue Modeland more.
IAM technologies are extremely well-suited to enable the next generation of smarter sensors. This is because identity has a unique visibility to the data used to establish trust. Thus, it ‘owns’ many of the runtime controls for defining and enforcing access policies.
When working with OT environments, it’s important to create a baseline identifying who should have access to what, along with a complete accounting of how access was authorized and acquired over time. From there we move on to establishing an authoritative identity data for authenticating known users, devices and workloads and metadata for describing users and permissions, which in turn drives lifecycle automation. This is accompanied by establishing the rules that govern the right-sized allocation of access and its business-appropriate use.
Here are some best practices for implementing IAM in OT environments:
Use strong, unique passwords: Strong, unique passwords are crucial for protecting access to OT systems. Use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords, and enforce policies that require frequent password updates.
Implement two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of authentication in addition to a password. This can be something like a security token or a one-time code sent to a mobile device.
Use role-based access controls (RBAC): Implement role-based access controls to ensure that users only have access to the resources and systems they need to perform their job duties. This helps to prevent unauthorized access and reduces the risk of accidental or malicious damage to OT systems.
Regularly review and update access permissions: Regularly review and update access permissions to ensure that users only have the permissions they need to perform their job duties. This helps to prevent unauthorized access and ensures that the OT environment remains secure.
Monitor and audit access: Implement real-time monitoring and auditing to track user access to OT systems and resources. This can help identify and prevent unauthorized access or potential security breaches.
By following these best practices, and implementing ObserveID’s unified IAM solution you can help ensure that your OT environment is secure and that access to critical systems and resources is controlled and monitored consciously in near real-time.